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Are the San Antonio Spurs being targeted by the refs?

TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 22: Head Coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs speaks to Official Marc Davis during the first half of an NBA game against the Toronto Raptors at Scotiabank Arena on February 22, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 22: Head Coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs speaks to Official Marc Davis during the first half of an NBA game against the Toronto Raptors at Scotiabank Arena on February 22, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
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The San Antonio Spurs have received some curious personal and technical foul calls over the last three games which begs the question: are they being targeted by the refs?

The San Antonio Spurs have not played their best basketball over the past week or so with a close win over the lowly Cavs at home, a home loss to the recently-eliminated Sacramento Kings, a near loss at home to the Atlanta Hawks, and a blowout loss in Denver.

The Spurs only have themselves to blame for their recent struggles, but they haven’t received any help from the referees during these matchups.

There were two egregious calls made by the same ref against San Antonio in their home loss to the Kings, and Gregg Popovich did not appreciate that ref’s work.

Pop went at him with the intention of getting two technicals and a subsequent ejection, and he accomplished his goal.

After Pop was tossed, the Spurs totally crumbled and played horribly on both ends of the floor giving away a win in a game where they were heavily favored.

In the next game on San Antonio’s schedule, DeMar DeRozan became frustrated that he wasn’t getting to the line very often. He expressed his displeasure by telling the ref “that’s (BS) man,” and apparently that was enough to earn a technical in a very tight game with Atlanta.

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Those types of interactions will happen with referees, and it was probably a coincidence that it occurred in consecutive games.

However, Gregg Popovich’s ejection in Denver was absolutely bizarre and has provoked some thoughts about the Spurs’ relationship with the officials.

LaMarcus Aldridge was clearly hit on the wrist on a fadeaway jumper over Paul Millsap just one minute into the game, and the Nuggets went the other way and scored on the next possession.

Popovich called one of his patented early timeouts just 63 seconds into the game for two reasons: to chew out the refs and to chew out his team.

The particular official that Pop was conversing with showed absolutely no patience with the greatest coach of all-time, gave Pop two quick technicals, and pointed toward the locker room for yet another ejection.

We don’t have all of the official ejection stats, but it’s believed to be one of the quickest ejections on record in NBA history.

When someone of Pop’s stature gets ejected that early, it’s safe to assume that the refs decided they weren’t going to take any lip that night.

Pop’s outbursts during the Sacramento game probably caused the refs to have an extra short leash on him during last night’s game in Denver.

The Spurs aren’t typically known as a team that complains any more than the average NBA squad, and Pop has earned the right to have a conversation with the officials due to his longtime reputation as one of the good guys in the league.

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San Antonio may need to be extra careful in their interactions with the refs because they can’t afford to keep racking up technicals and ejections in their fight for playoff seeding duirng the last few games of the season.

These recent interactions suggest that the officials are keeping a close eye on the Spurs and they’ll need to be on their best behavior whether those calls are valid or not.

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